Frequently Asked Questions


When Should we Apply?

Applications are available each year in early October. Parents/Guardians begin the admissions process in the fall prior to the year they wish to enroll.

Are There Fees Involved with Applying to Parker?

Yes. The admissions application is $125 and is valid for two years. For families applying for financial assistance, the application fee is $50. If paying the application fee is difficult, please contact the admissions office and request a fee waiver. Fees for testing vary depending on the grade. Please note that all of these fees are nonrefundable.

Are There Deadlines for Completing the Admission Process?

Yes. The deadline for priority consideration is February 1, 2020 with decision notification on March 13, 2020. Families of accepted students are asked to return the enrollment agreements by March 25, 2020.  If a family misses the priority consideration deadline, applications may still be submitted in the event that there are openings.  

Should We Continue to Apply if There is Not An Opening the First Year We Seek Enrollment?

Absolutely, especially if the reason for not being offered acceptance is because of lack of space. It is helpful to note at which grades the most openings occur and plan to apply for these grades first.


Does the Admissions Committee Have a Pre-Determined Grade Point Average or Entrance Exam Score for the Students They Admit?

No, however, admission to Parker is competitive and it is important to have indicators that a student will be academically successful at Parker and make a smooth transition into the School. Other things considered in the selection process are teacher and administrator recommendations, essays and questionnaires, and a student’s special talents, interests and accomplishments.

Is There any Test Preparation or Tutoring That Parker Recommends Prior to Testing?

Students should not require any special preparation or tutoring for admission testing as it covers information they may have been exposed to during their academic tenure. However, students applying to Grades 5-11 may wish to review the sample questions provided by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) in preparation for the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) or the sample questions provided by the Enrollment Management Association (EMA) for the Secondary School Admission test (SSAT). Our youngest candidates (JK and SK) are developmentally evaluated and there is no preparation necessary.

How Much Weight Does the Admissions Committee Give to Test Scores?

Test scores are only one aspect of a student’s file. Since we accept students from varied programs, these scores are regarded as one measure of their preparation for Parker.


How Many Students Are Admitted to Each Grade?

In a typical year, we will have the following number of planned openings.  (The number of actual new students depends on the planned opening plus attrition .) 
Junior Kindergarten: 48 students
Senior Kindergarten: 12 students
Grades 1 - 5: (4 - 5 students in each grade)
Grade 6: (40 students)
Grade 7: (4 - 5 students)
Grade 8: (based on attrition)
Grade 9: (30 students)
Grades 10 - 11: (based on attrition)

From Which School Do You Choose Most of Your Students?

Parker values the opportunity to enroll students from all over San Diego County. We seek students from a variety of schools with different missions and programs. This past year, we offered places to students from 103 different public, private, and independent schools from more than 80 zip codes.

Do Families with a Parker Affiliation Have an Advantage in The Admission Process?

Siblings, faculty/staff children, and legacies are given priority consideration in the admissions process. A sibling is defined as a biological or adopted brother or sister of a child currently enrolled at Parker. Faculty and staff children are defined as the biological or adopted children of full-time faculty or staff members. Legacies are defined as biological or adopted children of alumni. 

Admissions is never guaranteed for any student and these candidates, as with all candidates, will not be admitted unless they demonstrate qualities important to their future success at the school. Along with other first round applicants, siblings, faculty/staff children, and legacies are notified of admissions decisions in March.

Is There An Age Cut Off For Some Grades?

Yes, the Lower School has age requirements. Children must be four by July 31st of the year they seek enrollment in the Junior Kindergarten class; five for Senior Kindergarten. Subsequent numbered elementary school grades have the same cut-off date as the children advance in age. Middle and Upper School applicants do not have birth date cut-offs.


What Financial Resources Does Parker Have Available For Families with Cost Concerns?

Approximately 22% of the student body receives tuition assistance based on financial need. Parker does not award athletic or academic scholarships. The School has a commitment to socio-economic diversity and this year approximately five million dollars were awarded to new and returning families who qualified, based on a standardized process. Families interested in Financial Assistance need to apply to School and Student Services by Community Brands (SSS). However, the funds awarded come from Parker and are determined, based on demonstrated need, by a committee of administrators.

Would Applying for Financial Assistance Affect my Child's Chances of Admission?

Applying for financial assistance will not impact your child’s chances of admission. Parker admits students on a “need-blind” basis, meaning that an applicant family’s economic circumstances are not considered by the Admissions Committee when making admissions decisions.

What is the Tuition at Parker? Are there Additional Costs?

Tuition and new student fees are set by the Board of Trustees each winter for the following year, and are announced in acceptance letters. Other expenses, which vary by grade level, include books, uniforms, transportation and some class activities. Lunch and Lower School snacks are included in tuition.

Visit the Tuition Page for details on tuition costs. 


When Will Families Receive the School's Decision?

Applicants will be notified on March 13, 2020. The Admissions Committee will inform you of one of the following decisions:
a) Acceptance: Students are offered enrollment at Francis Parker School and details of the enrollment process and deposit amounts will be posted in your child's Ravenna account.
b) Wait List/Wait Pool: Students who meet the requirements for admission, but for whom there is no space available, will receive a Wait Pool letter in their Ravenna account. Wait Pool candidates are not ranked and the pool does not give a candidate priority in subsequent years.
c) Denial/Deferral: A letter of denial or deferral will be posted in the accounts of those students for whom our program is not an appropriate match at the current time.

Does Parker Accept Applications and Offer Enrollment After the First Round of Acceptances?

Parker does consider late applications. However, even though most places will probably be filled by students who apply before February 1, 2020, applicants who complete their applications after that date will be processed, evaluated, and considered if openings become available.